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Discussion Starter #1
Turned traction control off. Hit the Beach - 6+ inches of soft sand. Going out no real problem coming off the hard pack but I didn't have confidence.

On the way off, TC off, locked into 1st gear. Couldn't get on the cam. No engine speed, no wheel speed. Had to back way down off the slight beach rise and made 3 attempts..

Finally got the engine up and made it but the RL was embarrassed..

Thoughts??

Steve
 

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Be more specific. Was the VSA turned off? Did you lower tire pressure to the point where the low pressure light went on? Do you have a properly functioning TPMS system? If your pressure is low enough to trip the light or the TPMS system is faulty you can't then turn off the VSA.

Basically it sounds like the VSA system was still active and killing power to keep the wheels from spinning.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sorry. Thought I was clear enough..

Didn't air down. Just punched the Trac Control (lower left button close to left knee).

Did feel like it was down on power.

Could the power still be under 'computer control' even though the TC is off?
Should I pull fuses next time?

Thanks
Steve
 

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The VSA button is indeed down by your left knee. There are probably a number of conditions where the VSA will not turn off, despite your best efforts. Low tire pressures or a faulty TPMS system are two conditions that I know of.

It sounds like you did the right thing yet it also sounds like the VSA system was still active. Perhaps some forum members with significant off road experience and specifically sand experience could help you more?? My experience in this area is limited to what i said above
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I appreciate your response.

I will pull the VSA MTR fuse and try it again.. Just stinks that I had to fight to get off the beach in front of 4 guys leaning against a Toyota PU.. :-O

S
 

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Use the search feature, go to "advanced" and search for the word "sand" in "thread titles only"
You will find a lot of hits.

I did a quick perusal and it looks like your mistake was NOT airing down the tires. Dropping to about 12psi or so seems to be about right. At that point the VSA system won't be able to be disabled by pressing the button. A few people reported no issues anyway; they just let the VSA do its thing yet had no issues. Some people removed the fuse.

Sounds like the proper advice is to:

Lower your tire pressures to around 10-12 psi next time

Know which fuse(s) are for the VSA and where there are, in case you get stuck and the VSA won't allow you make any power.

Plenty of people seem to have had good luck traversing sand so, properly prepared, your Ridge should be able to do it just fine.

I will bet that those Toyo drivers had aired down ......
 

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Discussion Starter #7
(TOYO) Lol.....

I just pulled the #2 Fuse, so let the 'games begin'.

Unless I am mistaken, airing down increases traction by increasing the tires footprint. I didn't have a traction issue. I had a lack of power issue. As though I had my foot on the brake while trying to accelerate.

Steve
 

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Like I said you should do some reading. It sounds like your lack of traction was tripping the VSA system and power was being cut back.

Why were you lacking in traction? Because on sand you need to air down significantly. Why was your VSA system still operating in spite of the button being pressed (and you hadn't aired down and your TPMS system is presumably working properly)? I don't exactly know.

Read this thread. The guy who went sand duneing in Cape Cod says that there was even a sign posted telling people to air down.

http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=85873&highlight=sand
 

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He said he didn't have a traction issue. Airing down wouldn't have helped with his issue.

My RL is an 06. All I have to do is push VSA & it's disabled. I see you have a 12. Maybe you have to push the VSA button & hold it 3 seconds or something like that to disable it. It sounds like your VSA wasn't totally disabled & cutting power. Which will bring you to a stop in sand.
 

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Honestly I have never driven on sand.

That said, everything that I have read (just now, on this forum and elsewhere) says that you need to lower your tire pressure to handle sand.

AG, you may well be right that his procedure for deactivating VSA system was not done properly for his model year Ridge. It certainly sounds like it was activating and hard . . .

Why do you think the VSA system was activating???? LACK OF TRACTION. How do we improve on that? LOWER TIRE PRESSURE.

He may not think that he had a traction issue but the car's computer sure sounds like it did.
 

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VSA off. Tire pressure to about 28 ish psi. Foot to floor. Seems to work for me in the sand.

Shifting into lower gears never seems to work.

Any psi below 25 I believe trips the vsa even if it is on or off and the tpms. So to deactivate it you would need to pull the fuse.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
All I could tell you guys is that the light was on on the dashboard indicating the traction control was off now going through the deep soft sand, foot was on the floor and I wasn't getting any RPM or any speed.

Last time the traction control worked was in Buffalo during a snowstorm the brakes were pulsating to control the wheelspin I could hear the ABS motor working.

In this case power was down to nothing as though the computer took all the power out.

We are on vacation this week in the Outer Banks that's why we were on the beach but the whole rest of the week they're threatening rain so I don't know if I'm going to be able to get back onto the beach to test the system with the fuse removed.

Steve
 

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The traction control still intervenes just not as much when off. I have gotten stuck once when I was on a slight incline and I let off...no bueno. Very embarassing.


Main thing is you made it in a HONDA!! haha. I think you would be better off with air down/wet sand/vsa off/ shifter in drive.

About two weekends ago I had alot of flesh weight and stuff weight in my truck and I could not make it over a slight rise of mixed sand/dirt. Just kept digging no matter what speed I had or setting. I think soft inclines at lower speeds are its weakness. If you have a run at it it does well of course. The ridge is just too fat and not enough low end grunt to do any slow stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Just kept digging no matter what speed I had or setting. I think soft inclines at lower speeds are its weakness. If you have a run at it it does well of course. The ridge is just too fat and not enough low end grunt to do any slow stuff.
S.T.U.V

That is where I fell apart and had to backup, alot.....

Were you getting the rpm's up? I don't think I got above 2500. Once I was able to get on the cam, I was ok.

Could it have simply been simply a complete lack of real torque, then the incline completely killed the show??

After backing up quite a bit, and in tracks, I was finally able to wind her up a bit..

Steve
 

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S.T.U.V

Could it have simply been simply a complete lack of real torque, then the incline completely killed the show??

Steve

YEP! And that the system cant really handle the torque. Just the way the system works it just cant keep the wheels spinning to go. I had my foot to the floor in the beginning and then it would fall on its face once I lost momentum, and never grab any gears.

But it makes it interesting cause we have to use our heads and off road skill to overcome obstacles! Although they may be small to us they are big for our little ridges lol


There is this one little completely hardpacked hill I always want to go up when I go to the desert near me and I always try when I know I cant. I put it in d/1st/2nd etc and just because it is so steep even with the foot to the floor it just bogs way down about half way up when I am looking at the sky. Just cause lack of torque, plenty of grip though.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
S.T.U.V,

that really stinks (politically correct lang), and puts another black eye on my RL.

I have had a full sized Bronco, Jeep Wrangler, Datsun/Nissan PU (crossover yr), Jeep Commando. All with very strong, simple, capable 4x4 systems that didn't try to out think me. Would run with the hubs locked and the Xfer Case in 2wd high for 6 months of the year. Never a problem, available on the fly, and balanced the braking, making for a mock-ABS.

Sorry and thanks for your help, but the RL seems to be a nice grocery-getter, not capable of the last 20% that I buy a 4x4 for..

I was looking at Ram PU's the year before buying my RL. Rear seat was really bad, wrong angle. Other than that, I wonder if it would have been a better choice??

Thanks again
Steve
 

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Interesting. I've read a lot of posts from those that have taken their RLs off road, but I'm not one of them. My son and I did just return from a 1000 mile camping trip to Crater Lake, though. While we were up at the rim above the lake it snowed like crazy (the only days it snowed all week - just our luck). A good portion of the rest of the trip was driving through horrendous rain. Not only was the RL comfortable, it carried everything we needed and I never once felt even the least bit out of control. I think that's the vehicle's strong point. More than just a grocery hauler but not a rock crawler, for sure. Every vehicle has it's compromises.
 

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Biggest rookie mistake you can make...not airing down. I don't care if you say you didn't have traction problems...you need to air down - period. The best 4wd system in the world is useless in 5" sugar sand without lowering pressure. Most people take the path of least resistance and get lazy...because it can be a PIA... and there is no air station. In almost every case of someone getting stuck...it's because they didn't properly deflate their tires. It's basic physics and is night and day difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Codda

I will admit it is a huge PIA to air down, I understand that.

But it wasn't an issue where the tires were digging down into the sand.

We were on the tailgate watching the surf. When we took off, all I had to do was turn right, plow through fresh sand, then get on a track. Now even the track was soft, so that didn't solve anything, didn't offer a better surface.

It took 3 tries to get enough engine and wheel speed to get up on the sand and over the rise were the hardpack was..

So unless the sand was acting like a suction, (like wet, bog mud or sand) there wasn't a need to air down. I had movement, just not a lot of it.. I. Guess that is the point.

Again, it acted like I was riding the brakes..

Steve
 

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It really seems like your VSA system was still pretty active. On sand the Ridge will have AMPLE power to spin the wheels if the traction control isn't cutting power.

At this point you have been given some suggestions. You can try it again with the VSA fuses out. You can air down. You can do both.

Without further attempts we can all sit around and wonder if your truck is not working correctly, or if it is doing the best it can and the Ridgeline is POS sand vehicle (which you seem to now believe) or that you didn't properly prep your vehicle for the excursion.

You have got at least a couple of people telling you its your prep. There are also a number of reports on this forum of people having good success on the sand.

If it were me, I would want to know if there is something wrong with my truck, particularly if it is still under warranty. Perhaps you should get back out there and test it out?? Either that or go out and buy a Dodge.
 
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